Hard 'n' fast rock 'n' roll -- the
type that even many sophisticated fans
continue to label punk -- has not yet proven itself commercially
viable. Consequently, the major record labels haven't exactly worn
out their collective ballpoint pens in signing L.A.'s new wave bands
to record contracts.
L.A. groups who cater to the young and outrageous, those who are
looking for something new, continue to attract attention, however.
Many of them -- the Dils, Germs and the Wierdos among others -- may
prove too strange for all but a small retinue of disciples. But
others, The Kats and The Zippers, appear to have the potential to appeal
to both hard-core new wavers and a more inclusive audience.
Happily, these two groups appeared in tandem Tuesday night at the Fleetwood
in Redondo Beach, opening for main attraction Ultravox. Both proved purveyors
of a kind of rock so real and immediate that they would surely exist without benefit of the
new wave movement.
The Kats are five Valley boys who are the unofficial house
band at the Rock Corporation in Van Nuys.
is their vocalist, songwriter and rhythm guitarist, brother Bobbyzio Moore is on tenor sax and
assorted percussion, Dennis
Peters sings and plays bass, Al
Galles mans the drum kit, and Pete McRae is their lead guitarist.
Ireland's Boomtown Rats, the
Kats have adopted an animal motif to express their post-teenage
experience and street-life environment. Moore had time for only eight of his tunes but was able to show
a clear thematic awareness
that his life in the Valley is both separate from and entirely
similar to that of his new wave colleagues. When Moore
does their theme song, "The Kats," they become an interesting
visual group as well.
the Kats have a lot in
common with the spiritedness of the '50s sax-influenced groups
stretching clear back to Bill Haley and the Comets; they've also
digested the mid '60s first generation punk and have a clear
understanding of the technical advances made in the '70s. The Kats are clearly a group to
watch. They will play the Sweetwater in Redondo Beach Friday
night....(The Zippers ...)